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Top 10 Greatest Christmas Characters of All Time

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Joey Turner Christmas characters from around the world, appearing in fictional works of Movies, books, legends and more that have come to be popular and iconic of the holiday season. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Christmas Characters of all time. But who will top our list, Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer guiding the list, Frosty the Snowman along with his magic hat, or will Jolly Old Saint Nick take the top spot? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to mac121mr0, Allan Trinidad, David Ram and Jon Lumpkins for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Christmas%20characters

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Tis the season to celebrate your favorite yuletide icons! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Christmas Characters.

For this list, we’ll be looking at our favorite classic holiday icons - both the nice… and the naughty. We’ll only be covering fictional characters that originated from books, songs, and urban legends, so real figures - like a certain birthday boy - are ruled out.

#10: Jack Frost

Kicking off this list is the one who’s nipping at our noses every winter. Jack Frost is the embodiment of winter itself – the snow falling from the sky, the frost on our window frames, and the slippery ice – they’re all his masterpieces. Since winter conditions can be unpredictable, Jack’s characterization is just as unpredictable – some days he’s an invisible sprite bringing a winter wonderland to the world; other days, he’s a frosty prankster looking for kicks in the cold; or sometimes he’s just a snowman... who’s possibly out for revenge. No matter how he’s portrayed, the bitter chill in the air means Jack Frost and the winter season are on the way.

#9: The Grinch

He’s a mean one, but we love him for it. The Grinch is a hairy green grump who lives in the mountains just outside of Whoville with his dog, Max. To say he hates Christmas… would be an understatement. He despises the holiday so much, he gets the wonderful, awful idea to dress up as Santa and “steal” Christmas from the Whos. Unfortunately, his grinchy trick doesn’t end as intended. Seeing the Whos act merry without any presents or decorations touches the Grinch so much that he can’t go through with his grinchy deed. But, while Dr. Seuss’ furry green hermit now has a soft spot for the festivities, he’s still got a few other tricks up his sleeve.

#8: Ebenezer Scrooge

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a holiday classic that’s been referenced and refreshed countless times. But no matter the adaptation, they all have one thing in common – a holiday humbug named Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is a greedy money-lending miser who hates Christmas… mostly due to a LOT of bad experiences. Fortunately, the Ghosts of Christmas are there to help Scrooge get into the spirit by showing him his awful past, a typical Christmas day in the present, and what could happen in the future if he doesn’t change his ways. While the process is slow at first, the message eventually sinks in, and Scrooge learns to embrace this wondrous time of year and show kindness to all.

#7: The Nutcracker

The nutcracker soldier has always been an iconic Christmas toy; so much so that it became the hero of the short story “The Nutcracker Prince and the Mouse King,” and the famous ballet it inspired. He may look like just another wooden soldier, but he is actually a man that was cursed to become a living nutcracker and Prince of the Dolls. Though he’s not much to look at, his leadership is top notch as he leads an army of dolls to end the tyranny of the evil Mouse King. It’s a fierce battle, but our literal woodenhead emerges triumphant, and exits with someone who loves him in spite of his looks. Sadly, the brave Nutcracker prince is only a dream… or is he?

#6: The Little Drummer Boy

“The Little Drummer Boy” song tells of a little boy who plays his drums for the newborn king – Jesus - and his parents. The 1968 Rankin/Bass special fleshed the little boy out by making him a poor kid with only animal friends and a hatred for humanity. However, when one of his animal friends is fatally wounded, he looks desperately for help, and one of the three wise men has the answer. The boy then gives the baby messiah the most loving gift of all – the gift of music. His animal friend is revived, and the human boy’s heart is warmed again, showing how much happiness even the littlest gifts can bring with a little bit of love.

#5: Krampus

Did you get nothing but coal for Christmas? For your sake, let’s hope that’s ALL you get… and not a visit from the Christmas Devil. Originally from Germanic folklore, Krampus has been described as a giant, hairy, horned demon. He is the polar opposite of Santa Claus: while Santa rewards the good kids, Krampus punishes the naughty kids… and he does not mess around. While getting punished by Krampus is anything but fun, dressing up as him can be a blast – which is why folks in Germany participate in the “Krampus Run” and take to the streets in their demonic garb every December. Be good for goodness sake, or Krampus will come for you this year.

#4: The Elves

Santa may be the big boss at the North Pole, but who do you think keeps the toyshop running? That privilege goes to the pointy-eared little creatures known as Santa’s Elves. While the big guy’s checking his list twice, the elves are busy in the shop making the toys and tending to the reindeer. If the need should arise, the little troopers will take a chance out in the battlefield, prepping the houses of the world for the Christmas Eve run. While each little elf is a hard worker, there are a few that pine for a life outside the workshop. Nevertheless, they do their best for their jolly boss ...and they won’t accept any substitutions.

#3: Frosty the Snowman

Catchy Christmas songs can inspire some of the most unique and jolliest of characters – first it was with a certain Red-Nosed Reindeer, and now it’s his very good friend, Frosty the Snowman. What was once just an ordinary snowman with all the fixings – corncob pipe, button nose, and eyes of coal - comes to life thanks to a magic hat. Frosty and the kids have a fun run around the town, but his time is running out – Frosty has to hurry home before he melts… because THAT would be bad. It’s sad to see our new friend go, but please don’t cry, for he’ll be back again some day; and he won’t be alone.

#2: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know of the eight reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh, but do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? What originally started out as a fun little story quickly turned into a hit song and even bigger holiday specials and movies. Rudolph was a little misfit with a glowing red nose; unfortunately, this strange gift makes him a laughing stock with the other reindeer. However, they won’t be laughing when Rudolph’s glowing schnoz is the only thing that can cut through the thick fog on the night of Christmas Eve; instead, they’ll be calling him the one who saved Christmas. This little reindeer certainly has gone down in history, showing that even a total misfit can be a hero.

Before we reveal our number one yuletide character, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Sugar Plum Fairy
- Dominick the Donkey
- Noel Baba

#1: Santa Claus

The 4th-century Saint Nicholas’ reputation for gift giving served as inspiration for the popular holiday icon we know and love today – Santa Claus. This jolly old fat man resides at the North Pole along with his faithful wife, hard-working elves, and fleet of reindeer as they prepare for the Christmas Eve ride. We can’t count how many interpretations of the big guy there are – some harken back to the start of his career, and others show us his… not-so-jolly side. While he may not exist physically, what he stands for is what drives the holiday – giving to your friends and loved ones, and bringing peace to your fellow humans.

Do you agree with our list? What holiday personality gets YOU in the Christmas spirit? For more festive Top 10s posted every day, be sure to subscribe to

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